Monsters University reminds us that failing does not always stop us from achieving our dreams, something that more young men desperately need to hear.
If you skipped seeing Monster’s University, I’m sorry because you missed seeing a truly incredible story. Sure it fell into the pitfalls that most sequels do; the novelty of the idea has worn off, going for the same gags again, and trying too hard to outdo the first one, but once you get past all that there is some pretty amazing stuff. The second foray into the wonderfully crafted world of the monsters ends up giving a message that I’m glad someone finally was willing to say.
Monster’s U. points out a message that is incredibly important for young men (and women) of today; it doesn’t matter how talented, lucky, dedicated, or smart you are; sometimes you will fail.
In Monster’s University we see the two protagonists from the first movie, Mike and Sully, both fail. Mike is the determined worker, who fails regardless of his hours perfecting himself in study and practice. Sully is the naturally talented kid with the right family pedigree to waltz through most schoolwork. Their failure does not come as part of the rising action, but rather as part of the falling action and resolution.
For years we are taught that being smart, funny, talented, or whatever the qualification is would be enough to make us successful in the real world. Parents, teachers, coaches, celebrities, and newscasters told us that by virtue of our abilities we would make it. As a young man having spent a few years in the real world after college I now know they were wrong.
As a man I want to succeed, to provide for my family, to be strong and good at everything I do. I despise failure; yet, as this is the real world, I will fail. I won’t always get the job I apply for, I won’t always be the most successful in any given field, and I will disappoint those around me.
I am of the generation that heard time after time that college was a magical key that would open doors for the rest of your life. After graduation I quickly realized that a degree did not mean every single door would be open, and in fact there are still many closed to me for various reasons. Even when I found jobs my education did nothing to prevent me from making mistakes nor did it make me a better worker than those around me.
Failure is unavoidable, and is a necessary part of the journey that is life; which has turned out to be one of the best things to accept as a young man. It is a lesson that I wish I had paid better attention to, if only I was this able to dissect Disney movies twenty years ago. It’s a lesson that I have to remind myself of regularly, but one that is more beneficial than a couple of college classes I barely remember (I’m looking at you, Health and Personal Wellness).
Yeah, it might be a “kids” movie to some, but if you can unpack the goofy characters and cheesy humor, there is a great lesson to be found within Monster’s University; it doesn’t matter who you are, you will fail, but that doesn’t mean your dreams are any less possible.